Thursday, May 1, 2008

Weekly Geeks #1 and Challenge Questions for YOU


I've procrastinated--again. This is not to say that I'm looking up five random sites on Friday morning before work. I wish I could spend some time writing up a few things about these bloggers, but I have that pesky thing called work... I've visited many and spent some time browsing around and found these gems:

Andi from Tripping toward Lucidity

Debi from Nothing of Importance

Valentina from Valentina's Room

Ravenous Reader

Gautami Tripathy from My Own Little Reading Room

And I want to make a special mention of the following blog. She's not new to me, but she's new to blogging. Most of my family and friends kind of look at me funny when I tell them that I have a blog--even my reading enthusiast friends. But Laura was curious and interested and now she has a blog of her own! Go check her out:

Laura at Reading Reflections


I'm thinking about hosting a challenge and have a few questions for all of you challenge goers:

1. What format of challenge entry do you prefer?
* Separate blog where you can post your actual review
*Separate blog with Mr. Linky
*Mr. Linky on hostesses blog

I have found that I don't post my reviews anymore on challenge blogs just because I don't have the time, so I'm thinking one of the last two. But...I don't know whether to do the Mr. Linky on my blog or the challenges own blog. What do you think?

2. How the heehaw does one make a button?? Is special software required?

Um, I guess that is it! I'm thinking of a challenge between July and December, but I haven't decided for certain. I'm getting a little pressure from Laura (see above) to host one, but scares me a bit. :)

Alright--off to work (and an hour in traffic!). Hope everyone has a great Friday!


Chrisbookarama said...

#2 or 3 sounds fine to me!

I've never made a button.

I'll be back to see what you're cooking up.

Joy said...

I'll e-mail you sometime between now (Friday) and Sunday. :) I'm giving myself some time because I have close to 400 blog posts to read (skim), new challenges to post on my blog, and I want some time to read a handheld book! That amongst many other things I've waited until today (day off) to do. I don't think it's all gonna fit. Anyway, expect an e-mail. :)

Joy said...

Good goin' Trish - You snagged another one into our crazy, obsessive net! (as Joy wrings her hands)

And, BTW, Laura is already on my Google Reader! :)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Chris - I'm being coerced!! Actually, I've been wanting to do a challenge for a while--and the one that I'm thinking of isn't anything new or exciting, but something about being a hostess makes me very nervous.

*Joy - 400 posts? Eck! I freak out when I have 50 posts to sift through--but my subscription list is still relatively small.

Yes, I am very excited about Laura's newfound excitement for blogging. She keeps apologizing for all of the questions and I told her--well, there is this blogger Joy who I bugged a lot (and apparently still do) about blogging. ;)

Debi said...

I agree with you...I never seem to get around to posting reviews on challenge blogs. So I'd go with one of the other two options. In fact, I'd go with option #2. I've been helping my daughter, Annie, host her What's In a Name challenge...and at first she didn't plan on having a separate blog for it, but she felt her regular blog was being overtaken by the challenge so she decided to make a separate one. (Just one gal's opinion.) As for the button...I have no idea how to do, but I can almost guarantee if you ask, some kind soul out there will just do it for you...two different people did it for Annie.

Can't wait to hear what your challenge is all about!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll definetly be checking back to see what kind of challenge you host - would love to join in!

P.S. Congrats on your win at Maw Books!

Anonymous said...

Great post as I've been thinking of hosting a challenge myself, so I'm curious as to what everybody says. I'm thinking probably not until the new year though.

I'm only six months in on this whole blogging thing but I think I prefer #2 or #3. I don't prefer #1 for several reasons: I don't think I could stand to post a review somewhere else other than my blog and not also post that review on my blog. And mistake me if I'm wrong but I think duplicate content is bad for your search engine ranking. I could completely be off based here! Another reason and totally call me selfish but I'd rather have them come to my blog.

I don't have a preference between #2 and #3. As far as the button, can't you just make up a graphic in any type of software? I've used photoshop to make some of the graphics on my blog.

This only the opinion of someone who's a newbie and has only participated in challenges and not actually hosted one. I'm sure Joy will have a wealth of information for you because after all she is the Challenge Hostess Queen.

And of course if you hosted, how could I not resist joining up!

Petunia said...

I agree with everyone else, #2 and #3 are good but I couldn't say between the two. Though I have never made a button I do make my own headers. It's pretty easy. I could make you a button or two once you've decided what the challenge will be.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Debi - I really like how Annie's site is set up, so I think I'll do something like that. I wouldn't mind the extra traffic to my site, but I don't want my own stuff to get lost amongst the challenge stuff. I love Annie's button--so I may have to enlist whoever created it for her! Thanks for the advice.

*Amateurdelivre - Thanks for coming by! I'm not sure if my challenge will be all that exciting, but I would love for you to join. I'll definitely have to have prizes! ;)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Natasha - Honestly, I'm too lazy to bother with posting my review on two different sites. I was for a while, but then I started just posting the link to my site, and then I just stopped altogether. Plus, I'm more apt to visit someone's blog via Mr. Linky rather than read on the challenge blog everyone's review (too much to keep up with sometimes). I don't keep track of my stats, so I'm not worried about that as much.

I think photoshop is the way to go, but I don't have it (or at least I don't think I do). :( I'll have to ask techsavvy hubby when I get home. But anyway, yes, I would love for you to join! I'm almost positive on the subject matter--and I'm scared I'm going to get some groans from the bloggers (especially the Queen of Challenges).

*Petunia - You're headers are always so beautiful! I especially love your current one. I tried to put a picture on mine once and it was way too large so I took it off.

Ana S. said...

I too prefer Mr. Linky to posting my reviews on a challenge blog. For several reasons: first because I tend to forget and then suddenly I have like 5 reviews to post but don't want to overwhelm the group blog with my posts and so on...

Secondly, because even though group blogs are great resources for reading suggestions, they don't encourage the same sort of interaction between challenge participants that the Mr. Linky does. Posts on group blogs barely ever get comments, and if you're reading reviews there, then you're not visiting and discovering new blogs nor having new people visit yours.

As for putting the Mr. Linky on your blog or on a separate one, it's all the same to me...although like Debi said, you might want to make a separate blog to avoid overwhelming yours with challenge-related posts.

You can use simpler software than Photoshop to make buttons...Paint Shop Pro, for example. It's old, but very user-friendly, and it allows you to edit images and to add text to them. Or you could always ask a challenge participant to make a button instead. I've seen several challenge hosts do it.

I'm curious about this challenge of yours! I can't wait to hear what the theme is.

Corinne said...

You've already gotten lots of replies : ) But, my two cents is basically the same: I prefer #2 - it seems like the easiest way for me to see what other reviews are out there and the easiest way for me to keep track of it.

I'd just use photoshop also - but I think the idea of putting it out there for challenge users to make a button is a good idea :)

Can't wait to see what you decide!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Nymeth - Oh my theme isn't fancy or anything really new, but I'm trying to think of ways to make it a little fresher. I'd like to do a classics challenge since there hasn't been one yet this year, but I'd like to make it open for different genres (short story, non-fiction, poetry, drama) and I'm also thinking about having participants have one of their books be one that they think will/should be a classic. I really wanted to do a drama challenge, but this one I think gives a few more options for those who may not have a lot of plays sitting on their shelves (or lack of interest in plays). I agree with your thoughts on a group blog, so I think I'm going to do a separate blog with Mr. Linky. Just need to figure all of this out!! :P

*Corrine - I don't have photoshop--so I think I may just enlist a blogger to make a button for me. What is a challenge without a button!! :) I appreciate your input--it seems like separate blog with Mr. Linky is the way to go.

CJ said...

I like the way Annie has her challenge set up.

I think a classics challenge would be interesting, not that you've asked!

Oh, and I've tagged you for the 6 random things about me meme...


Anonymous said...

As far as challenges go, I like challenges where the host/ess makes a regular post (weekly, biweekly, or monthly) and then you respond with a comment. Mr. Linky on the hostess's blog works well, too.

I have Adobe Photoshop and am quite familiar with the program. If you'd like me to make you a button, I'd be completely willing to do so. Just send me an email (thisredheadreads at gmail dot com).

PS - I'm tagging you for the "six things about me" meme. It's not up on my blog yet, but it will be by the end of the day.

Karen said...

Hi Trish - I'm looking forward to reading about your challenge. I'm happy either way with how you decide to structure it - whatever makes it easier for you I say!

Kim L said...

Personally I prefer when a challenge only asks you to use Mr. Linky to link to your review. A separate blog is just fine, but keeping it on the main blog is fine as long as you keep it well marked.

As far as buttons, I haven't attempted one before, but I'd imagine many people are using paintshop or Photoshop. I think you could probably make a very simple one if you just find the image online and then use Paint to write the name of the challenge over it. I'll look forward to hearing more about your challenge.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*CJ - I felt like I was being crytic about what the challenge will be. There were a few classics challenges last year and I've been surprised that there hasn't been one yet this year. I'm taking my stab at it, so hopefully someone doesn't beat me to the punch... But, I'm glad you're interested! Yay!! My biggest fear is that I'll be the only participant! ;)

*This Red Head - Thanks for your offer! Another blogger, Joy, told me that she uses publisher, which I have. So I made a button yesterday. It isn't fancy and I'm going to try and tweek it a little before putting it out in public. Hopefully participants aren't embarrased to put it on their blog... eeks!

*Karen - With this post I've realized that I am not alone in not liking the post on another blog type challenge. So, I've created a separate blog that I'll use Mr. Linky for. That way I don't have to worry about it on my site and people can just leave their links to their own blogs. Everyone wins, right??? :)

*Kim - Actually, on the suggestion of Joy, I used publisher. I don't have any of the other applications people have suggested, so I have no idea if things would have turned out better with them. I did create a button--simple as it is--but it is my button. :) I'm definitely going with Mr. Linky on a separate blog. Hope to have the challenge annoucement up soon.

Laura said...

Three things:
1. Thanks for the special mention--I'm so glad you introduced me to the world of blogging!

2. I love that you said "How the heehaw..." I laughed out loud!

3. I'm happy all my gentle suggesting (or "pressure" as you called it :) finally got to you and you are hosting a challenge!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Laura - You are welcome! I'm glad you are enjoying it. It seems like in the past month or so I'm doing more blogging than ever. You better join the challenge--I'm sure you'll get an earful about it during the day...